More a stitch-chained imposition upon blank space than an outright negation of it, “Needles” is nakedly literal. Pinpricks, shark’s teeth, sewing machines, dog whistles, and laser beams disguised as hand-held grocery checkout scanners conspire or converge, depending upon where in this six-minute span one happens to be: a cross between an MRI and a dry car wash. Pro-tip: should you make it home alive, steer well clear of mirrors.
“Needles” rips and knives away at silence, pokes holes through it, pours it through sieves, nibbles fitfully at its edges. In less imaginative works of noise minimalism assaults stem from a single source; here, they stab or swarm in from numerous directions, sometimes all at once. There is, maybe unavoidably, a very real sense of having been handled and processed by a recording—the sneaking suspicion that once you turn your attentions elsewhere, a barcode has been stamped onto one earlobe, that what passes however fleetingly as a jumpy, robotic hook contains sinister, Manchurian multitudes.